Tag Archives: Domestic violence

#CrimeTime ~ American Monster ~ “Have You Seen This Woman?” – #AHAgrp #Blog #CrimeTime

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

I love watching true crime shows…as long as they are about murder…, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 Each week, I blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. (this is a 20/20 episode, rather than an Investigation Discovery episode)

One of my short stories, Blood and Breakfast, is about a crime junkie who gets a little closer to murder than she anticipated. You can buy the Kindle version here for only $1.99 Blood and Breakfast – It’s also part of a print book with 6 other scary stories: A Collection of Friday the 13th Stories

American Monster, Season 5, Episode 7, “Have you Seen this Woman?”

Calera, Oklahoma. January 10, 2009

I’m always surprised and intrigued when I begin watching an ID show and learn the murder took place in Oklahoma, as happened with this episode of American Monster. I’ll have to say, the first half of the show was a bit slow. As American Monster often does, much of the episode focused on the family’s past and showed several home videos before it got to the murders.

Vivian Pierce grew up in a home where her father, when drinking, was abusive to her mother. She met and married Kevin and they had two children together. Their marriage didn’t work out, and they divorced. Vivian began seeing Damon Butler, who had two children of his own. They moved in together and all seemed to be going well. Vivian’s family liked Damon and was glad Vivian had found someone who treated her so well. (Damon appeared in several of the home videos.) One night in January, Vivian went out with her friends. She told her best friend that she and Damon were having trouble and she was planning to leave him and getting back with her husband.

Vivian’s sister, Kimberly and her husband Dustin kept Vivian’s kids overnight while she went out. When Vivian failed to pick the kids up the next morning, they tried to reach her but couldn’t. They called Rebecca, Vivian’s mother, and asked her to check on Vivian. Rebecca arrived at the house and Damon told her that Vivian and he had argued and she took off walking. The two of them got into Damon’s truck and went looking for Vivian.

Later that day, the employees of the steakhouse where Vivian worked were concerned because she hadn’t shown up for her shift. They called her friend, who went to Vivian’s house to check on her. There, they found a horrific sight. Vivian was in the bathtub with her throat cut. In another room was another body, but they didn’t know who it was.

Police arrived and were working the scene when Kimberly and Dustin showed up. Dustin was asked to identify the victims. He ID’d the second body as that of his mother-in-law, Rebecca Pierce. Both women had been stabbed and severely beaten. A baseball bat and knife were found at the scene. Vivian’s neck wound was so deep, she was nearly decapitated.

The Chief of Police, Don Hyde, called in the OSBI to help with the case. Their first priority was to find Damon. They didn’t know if he was a suspect or another victim. The next day, they received a report of a man walking along the side of the road. Chief Hyde approached him and discovered it was Damon. He took him into custody. On the show, the police chief was interviewed. He said he was actually afraid while he was driving Butler to the station. I found that a little odd, that a police chief would be frightened of a hand-cuffed suspect.

Photos were found at the scene that showed Damon dressed in drag. He’d shaved his goatee and put on make up and women’s jewelry. The photos were strange and creepy. At first, Damon claimed that he didn’t kill the women. He claimed that two men broke in and murdered them, making him watch, but he was able to escape. Later, Damon called and said he wanted to confess. He killed Vivian because she was leaving him. Then,  after he and Rebecca had gone looking for Vivian and Rebecca returned to the house with him, he attacked and murdered her, most likely afraid that she would find Vivian.  

He worked out a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and was given two consecutive life sentences. Vivian’s sister, Kimberly, asked the DA if she could speak to Damon. He agreed to talk with her. She had two questions for him, one – Did their mother see Vivian? He told her that she had not, which brought a measure of comfort. Then she asked him why he did it. He told her that he didn’t want to lose Vivian. I’m always flabbergasted at the mindset of killers. He didn’t want to lose her so he savagely murdered her??

Ironically and sadly, in 2015, Kimberly’s sister Amanda lost her life to domestic violence. Her death was ruled a suicide, but Kimberly and others are certain she was murdered by her abusive boyfriend at the time, an illegal immigrant who disappeared while she was still on life support. “Amanda that night called a friend and said he’s going to kill me if I’m not gone. She had her bags packed; she had a ride,” Mullens said.

Amanda Pierce

Their father died in 2000 and their brother in 2007. What a series of tragedies poor Kimberly has had to endure.

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#HobbyCareerPassion: It Happens to Nice Men and Women Too by Alana Lorens

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Alana Lorens…

It happens to nice men and women, too

Nice to meet you!  My name is Inessa Regan, and I’m an attorney practicing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While I handle many different kinds of cases, one particular kind of client really calls to me—survivors of domestic violence.

While we don’t like to think about it, our friends and neighbors (and maybe ourselves) are victims of this sad crime. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. In an effort to help reduce that number by any means I can, I often provide free legal services to clients who need to get out of a dangerous situation, and I work with the local shelters to help their clients when I can.

At the time in my life told in the novel SECOND CHANCES, I get the opportunity to help an Iraq veteran who’s being battered by his soldier wife. The wife suffers from post-traumatic stress from her own war experiences, but won’t get the help she needs. As is so often true, we wonder why the battered party doesn’t just “get out”—but it is very clear that each of these situations is more complicated than is seen from the outside.

Do you need help, or know someone who does? Here’s some numbers for you to call.

 

BLURB

When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.

Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.

EXCERPT:

“A lot of people back home don’t understand what it’s like,” Rafe went on, his throat tight with the strain. “People get pushed to the wall. You’re on edge all day, all night. Things happen when guys get stressed out, you know? They need an outlet. Relief.”

“’Things’? You mean what? Fights? Drinking?” He shook his head and she wondered what other kinds of ‘relief’ he might be talking about. Her thoughts took a darker turn. “You mean the reports about women raped by their fellow soldiers?”

He nodded. “It happened all the time. It happened…to Susan.” He choked up. “Most of the girls, they’ll stay in their bunks all night, no matter what, just so they don’t have to hit the latrine alone. One night, Sus just couldn’t. No one would go with her. So…”

Inessa saw confirmation in Kurt’s face. “And Susan blames you for what happened.”

“If I-I-I’d been more c-careful, or let J-Jimmie get that b-bomb…I shoulda looked out for her. No one would have t-touched her if I’d been there!”

Kurt walked around the desk to put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “Susan’s been violent. I’ve seen the bruises. But he won’t retaliate—he feels responsible.”

“She’s changed. She’s a whole different person!” Agitated, Rafe ejected from his chair and started pacing. “She was never like this with me, not before I was sent Stateside. After she got back to the Real World, she was damned moody, man. We got into it at least twice a week, sometimes about nothing. She quit going to counseling after she lost the last job, just like all the others, always a fight with co-workers or a boss, and then it’s done. Seven months now, we’ve lived mostly on my disability.”

He turned to Inessa, gaze intent. “Living with her’s like living outside the wire, you know? I couldn’t stay any more. When I told her I was leaving, she shoved me down the stairs. I had two broken ribs.

“I would even have let that go, ‘cause I know she’s had a bad time. But since I been home with my parents, she won’t leave me alone. She threatens me, threatens them, follows me all the time. I’m not worried about me, I can take it. Damn her, my parents have nothing to do with what happened to me, or to her! I can’t let her do this.”

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, That Girl’s The One I Love, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, three crotchety cats, and four kittens of various ages.

 

Website https://wordpress.com/page/alana-lorens.com/21

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/

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